Put together with the help of 60+ influential industry experts from around the world, the 2018 results are broken down into five categories: Best Animation Schools, Best Digital Illustration Schools, Best 3D Motion Graphics Schools, Best Game Development Schools and Best Visual Effects Schools.

The 2018 Best Creative Media & Entertainment Schools in the World is based on the quality and performance of nearly 3,000 students that submitted 10,000 digital projects for review to our judging panel between March 2018 – May 2018.

“We feel that traditional school rankings that include peer and employer reviews, faculty-to-student ratio, citations and other data are not adequate when ranking the best creative schools,” co-founder of The Rookies, Andrew McDonald, explains.

“This might work in an industry that follows a more-traditional career path, however, when it comes to technical and creative roles like visual effects, feature animation and games, it’s a lot more complicated,” he adds.

At a time when studios report a lack of skilled students applying for entry-level roles, Alwyn Hunt, co-founder of The Rookies, reveals,

“We have students from all over the world ask The Rookies about the best schools. It’s crucial for reports like these that provide an independent and unbiased review of where the best students are consistently graduating from”.

The official Judging Panel included John Howe (famous for his J. R. R. Tolkien worlds), Pavani Boddapati (CG Supervisor, Weta Digital), Rob Coleman (Head of Animation, Animal Logic) and 60 other equally influential and respected industry veterans. The Judges were asked to score entries based on criteria including — creative skills, technical skills, presentation, variety of skills, complexity, raw talent, and employment potential.

Full details of how we analyse this data and determine the School of the Year winners can be found at the bottom of the page.

Want to read the full results?

Download the 2018 Best Creative Media & Entertainment Digital Report right here.


Over 580 academic facilities from 87 countries encouraged their students to submit work to the Rookie Awards and compete for the hotly contested School of the Year title. Here are the results for this year:

Best Animation Schools 2018

View full visual report and analytics breakdown at The Rookies.

(1)  Gnomon - Los Angeles, United States.
(2)  Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg - Ludwigsburg, Germany.
(3)  ESMA - Multiple Locations.
(4) Vancouver Film School - Vancouver, Canada.
(5)  School of Visual Arts - New York, United States.
(6)  Ringling College of Art and Design - Florida, United States.
(7)  Bournemouth University - Bournemouth, United Kingdom.
(8)  Howest University - Digital Arts and Entertainment - Kortrijk, Belgium.
(9)  Bellecour Ecole - Lyon, France.
(10)  The Animation Workshop - Viborg, Denmark.

Best Digital Illustration Schools 2018

View full visual report and analytics breakdown at The Rookies.

(1)  Flinders University / CDW Studios - Adelaide, Australia.
(=2)  Academy of Art University - San Francisco, United States.
(=2)  New3dge - Paris, France.
(4)  Brainstorm School - California, United States.
(5)  ArtFx - Montpellier, France.
(6)  Ringling College of Art and Design - Florida, United States.
(=7)  Nanyang Polytechnic - Yio Chu Kang, Singapore.
(=7)  University of Hertfordshire - Hertfordshire, United Kingdom.
(=9)  Howest University - Digital Arts and Entertainment - Kortrijk, Belgium.
(=9)  The One Academy - Malaysia, Malaysia.

Best 3D Motion Graphics Schools 2018

View full visual report and analytics breakdown at The Rookies.

(1)  Savannah College of Art and Design - Savannah, United States.
(2)  School of Visual Arts - New York, United States.
(3)  Ringling College of Art and Design - Florida, United States.
(=4)  Academy of Art University - San Francisco, United States.
(=4)  Nanyang Polytechnic - Yio Chu Kang, Singapore.
(6)  Vancouver Film School - Vancouver, Canada.
(7)  Media Design School - Multiple Locations.
(8)  3dsense Media School - Singapore, Singapore.

Best Game Development Schools 2018

View full visual report and analytics breakdown at The Rookies.

(1)  Howest University - Digital Arts and Entertainment - Kortrijk, Belgium.
(2)  Futuregames - Stockholm, Sweden.
(3)  Ringling College of Art and Design - Florida, United States.
(=4)  Champlain College - Vermont, United States.
(=4)  The Game Assembly - Malmo, Sweden.
(=4)  Think Tank Training Centre - Vancouver, Canada.
(7) Teesside University - Middlesborough, United Kingdom.
(8) New3dge - Paris, France.
(9)  Breda University of Applied Sciences - Breda, Netherlands.
(10) Norwich University of the Arts - Norwich, United Kingdom.

Best Visual Effects Schools 2018

View full visual report and analytics breakdown at The Rookies.

(1)  Gnomon - Los Angeles, United States.
(2)  Lost Boys | School of Visual Effects - Montreal/Vancouver, Canada.
(3)  Think Tank Training Centre - Vancouver, Canada.
(4)  Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg - Ludwigsburg, Germany.
(5)  Vancouver Film School - Vancouver, Canada.
(6)  PIXL VISN | Media Arts Academy - Cologne, Germany.
(7)  Écoles Aries - France.
(8)  ArtFx - Montpellier, France.
(9)  Institut Artline - Paris, France.
(10)  Ravensbourne - London, United Kingdom.

2018-Rookie-Awards-School-of-the-Year-2


How do we collect data to analyse?

The Best Creative Media & Entertainment Schools in the World 2018 is based on the quality and performance of student work that is submitted to the Rookie Awards judging panel between March 2018 – May 2018.

We feel that traditional school rankings – that include peer and employer reviews, faculty-to-student ratio, citations and other data – are not adequate when ranking the best creative schools. This might work in industries with more traditional career paths, however, when it comes to technical and creative roles, such as Visual Effects, Feature Animation and Games, it’s a lot more complicated.

Each eligible entrant that participates in the Rookie Awards is reviewed and allocated a score. This data is used to analyse and calculate a much more results-driven ranking of where the best students are receiving their education.

View all the amazing projects submitted in 2018.

The statistics from our 2018 data set.

How do we rank the best Schools in the World?

Our rankings focus on the quality of students portfolios that are submitted to our judging panel which best reflect the recruitment interview process.

The reason we take this approach is because we believe the goal of each creative school is tasked with helping students learn the right creative and technical skills that mirror the requirements of industry. It is their job to train artists to a level that allows them to transition from to a professional environment with ease.

The end result for students is less about grades, it’s about creating a digital portfolio that best showcases their skills and displays an understanding of production pipelines. This is why our judges review portfolios and review student work in the same manner as a professional job application.

The rankings are based on the scores as awarded by the official judging panel. Opinions by the general public are by no means considered. Students are judged on their creative skills, technical skills, presentation, variety of skills, complexity, raw talent, and employment potential.

How do we analyse the data?

Each school is awarded a final score based on the performance of each student representing their academic facility.

When analysing the average scores of each student per school there are three possible data formulas available to use: mean, median and mode.

The Rookies uses median. The median is the middle point of a number set, in which half the numbers are above the median and half are below. A median is intrinsically understandable. It is the middle number when the values are put in order.

The most important factor here is that a median is not affected by outliers. This means that schools are not penalised for incomplete entries and schools are not favoured for a single high score that is not the norm. Student scores often have outlier values and using the median is the more robust solution to determine an average.

Important details about how a school score is calculated:

  • Schools with < 4 student entries are excluded from ranking.
  • Incomplete student entries are removed from calculations. No penalties.
  • Each student receives a performance score. Max 100 points. (Student Score)
  • Median students score calculated per school. Max 100 points. (Median Student Score)
  • Each category finalist receives 10 bonus points toward School Score.
  • Each category runner-up receives 15 bonus points toward School Score.
  • Each category winner receives 20 bonus points toward School Score.

Get involved for 2019

To make sure your school is included in the 2019 Creative Media and Entertainment Schools Global Report, simply ask your students and recent alumni to get involved and upload their work. Our team will take care of the rest. Submissions are open each year between March 7th and May 30th.

Benefits for Students and Schools

  • Students receive an official industry ranking.
  • Students build confidence by uploading work to a dedicated student site rather than professional sites which can be intimidating.
  • Students can compare their skills to others and be inspired by other students around the world.
  • Students can apply for jobs, internships and scholarships.
  • Schools can attract extensive online exposure and attract new leads to their administration office.
  • Schools can leverage their global ranking performance to improve their own marketing campaigns and generate press coverage.

For more information please visit us at www.therookies.co or simply contact a representative at hello@therookies.co.